Cambodian refugee who killed as 14-year-old seeks pardon

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown is weighing a pardon for a Cambodian refugee who was 14 when he killed a shopkeeper during a robbery that netted about $300.

Borey Ai is now 37 and seeking a reprieve that could prevent his deportation to a nation where his mother was born but he has never seen.

The prospect frustrates relatives of his victim, Manijeh Eshaghoff. The Democratic governor recently pardoned seven ex-convicts who otherwise faced deportation to Cambodia.

There are parallels between Ai’s journey and that of the woman he killed. Both are from immigrant families who fled oppression only to tragically intersect in a strip mall convenience store in San Jose.

Advocacy groups are calling for Brown to grant pardons to Ai and others facing deportation before he leaves office in January.

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